We all get excited when our cell phone plan includes so called “Unlimited Data.”  But, you know what happens if we push your luck.  That’s right; we start to experience performance issues and get tossed into the dreaded 2G zone!

A similar scenario can happen to Spotlight users.  You are going along and adding more and more connections to your Spotlight application.  You figure as long as the system allows it the more the merrier. 

However, remember you cannot ignore Spotlight’s warning signs along the way.  You are being prompted by Spotlight that you have surpassed the recommended 100-connection threshold.  It becomes more and more obvious that the day to disperse the connections, in order to avoid performance issues down the road, is fast approaching.

Are you prepared? How much down time is involved? What are the risks? All these questions must be answered ahead of time.  Otherwise, the recommended and imminent federation would have to be put-off again!

Whether it’s your single install of Spotlight that needs to be federated or your existing federation that needs to be expanded, this blog can help you clear up answer those questions and get you to the finish line in less stress!

Once Diagnostic Servers are federated, the load balancing across them will result in a lighter load on each server will increase efficiency and performance of monitoring your servers.

This blog provides you the steps involved in an installation and federation based on your scenario:

  1. Federation of a single install of Spotlight onto two or more Diagnostic Servers
  2. Expansion of an existing federation by either:
    1. Breaking apart an existing federated Diagnostic Server
    2. Adding new Diagnostic Servers

Step 1: Backup Data Files

a. Open Spotlight client application local to the Spotlight Diagnostic Server to be federated. Check the version of Spotlight from About | Window option.

b. Locate Spotlight Diagnostic Server installation folder. By default, it is: C:\Program Files\Quest Software\Diagnostic Server

c. Make a backup copy of this folder

Step 2: Plan How to Distribute Connections

Take an inventory of all monitored connections and mock up a plan of how to split them in to two or more Diagnostic Servers. i.e. same regions or data centers, same level of critically or just ordered alphabetically by name.

a. Go to C:\Program Files\Quest Software\Diagnostic Server\Agent\conf\Monitored_Entity folder

b. Connections are stored into .XML files with the following naming convention: Each connection type will have a suffix added to the file name. For example, SQL Server connections will have file names with ‘_sqlserver’ suffix. Windows connection will have no suffix added to their names.

c. Keep in mind your plan on how to separate these connections, as in a later step, a group of these files will be migrated to the new server.

Step 3: Prepare the New Host

The new host to comply with the following prerequisites:

a. In the same domain or trusted domain system as the existing Spotlight host.

b. Required ports are opened for communication between Diagnostic Servers and the clients. See this Spotlight Help page for required ports.

c. The account acting as the owner of the new Diagnostic Server must be a Domain account, part of the Administrators group of local server, and ideally the same account as the existing Diagnostic Server owner.

Step 4: Install Spotlight Application

a. Before installing the new Diagnostic Server, be prepared to create it’s own Playback database.

b. Install the exact version and build of existing Spotlight (step 1a) in the new host. Installer to prompt you to:

i. Create a new Playback database or use the restored Playback database
ii. Assign the owner of Diagnostic Server. Ideally, choose the same account as the other Diagnostic Servers owners. Do not choose ‘the local system account’ option.

c. Open Spotlight application and ensure client application connects to Diagnostic Server

d. Configure the customized settings in this Diagnostic Server not migrated from the original Diagnostic Server.

i. Select Configure | Diagnostic Server icon
ii. Under the Configure section, configure all settings that is currently customized in the original Diagnostic Server with the exception of the Playback Database option. Ensure to configure the Mail Server setting if Alarm Actions rules are used for email generation, and enable the Spotlight Statistics Repository database if reporting is enabled.

Step 5: Remove Diagnostic Server from Federation - Apply this step only when expanding an existing federated Spotlight

a. Login to the server hosting the Configuration Diagnostic Server. Open Spotlight client and from the Configure tab, click Diagnostic Server icon and Federate Diagnostic Server option. Use the Remove button to remove the Diagnostic Server from federation.

b. To confirm the federation breakup, login to the server hosting the Diagnostic Server to be federated. Open Spotlight client and from the Configure tab, click Diagnostic Server icon and Federate Diagnostic Server option. Ensure the local is not listed. If needed, use the Remove button to remove the Diagnostic Server from federation.

Step 6: Add Connections to the New Diagnostic Server

a. Stop the new Spotlight Diagnostic Server services

b. Split the connections:

i . With your plan in place from step 2 go to the original Diagnostic Server installation file: C:\Program Files\Quest Software\Diagnostic Server\Agent\conf\Monitored_Entity
ii. Move the designated set of the files from above path to the same path as the new federated Diagnostic Server. Do not move the “_agent.xml file”

c. Start the federated Diagnostic Server

d. Confirm connections are there and being monitored

e. Leave configuration settings as is

Step 7: Remove Connections from the Old Diagnostic Server

a. In the original Diagnostic Server go to the following folder: C:\Program Files\Quest Software\Diagnostic Server\Agent\conf\Monitored_Entity

b. Remove the files that you have moved to the new Diagnostic Server folder

c. Restart the Diagnostic Server for changes to take affect

Step 8: Federate Diagnostic Servers

With each Diagnostic Server now monitoring their own set of connection, it’s time to marry them in a federated world.

a. Select Configure | Diagnostic Server | Federate Diagnostic Servers and add the new federated Diagnostic Server

b. Add the original Diagnostic Server as well if expanding an existing federation

c. Ensure the screen shows Connection Status is ‘Available’

d. Click OK to close the window and ensure the Diagnostic Server status at the very bottom-right corner of your screen shows Green without reported errors


a. Existing Spotlight Client will require no additional configuration changes. They automatically see both Diagnostic Servers under the Diagnostic Server category of the Connection tree and all connections governed by them.

b. Confirm customized configurations are preserved. They include: Connection Tags, Alarm/Scheduling Templates, Alarm/Scheduling customizations and Alarm Action rules.

c. Custom Views can be created to categorize connections per Diagnostic Server. This is especially handy when working with over two Diagnostic Servers. The steps to configure Customer Views can find here.

That’s all folks! For additional questions feel free to reach out to us at Spotlight Support Team.

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